The first known Latter-day Saint to attend the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point was Willard Young, son of Brigham Young. His father set him apart as a missionary as he attended West Point. He graduated in 1875, fourth in his class, and retired from military service in 1899 as a colonel.
Over the years President Young had two grandsons and a great-grandson graduate from the academy. In 1912, Cadet Howard S. Bennion graduated first in his class, the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to do so. In 1946, Cadet Amos Jordan was the first Latter-day Saint First Captain of the U.S. Corps of Cadets. He was also the first Latter-day Saint USMA professor at West Point and retired as a brigadier general.
In 1956 the West Point Branch was established. Members of the Church, cadets, staff, and faculty held meetings in military family quarters for many years. As the branch grew, the army provided meeting space in academic halls and other locations.
In the late 1970s cadets began interrupting their academic time to serve full-time missions. Since that time more than a hundred cadets have served missions, and most have returned to finish their education at West Point.
Currently, some 65 cadets are members of the Church, and an equal number of Church members are among the military and civilian staff and faculty, many of whom attended West Point for their education.